Symptoms of psychiatric disturbance in epilepsy

Alan B. Ettinger, Deborah M. Weisbrot, Lauren B. Krupp, Lina Jandorf, Elizabeth Gaudino, Joyce Cramer

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15 Scopus citations


To assess the severity and nature of symptoms of psychiatric distress among tertiary center epilepsy patients, we administered the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI) and Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale (CES- D) to adult patients evaluated at our tertiary center who were diagnosed with Epilepsy (EPI; n = 37), or Chronic Lyme Disease (CLD, n = 38). We compared results in these groups to published studies in normal healthy adults (NHA) and psychiatric outpatients (Psych). Mean global BSI and CES-D scores were both markedly elevated in the EPI and CLD groups compared to NHA but less than Psych. Subscores of the BSI varied among the EPI and CLD groups with higher obsessive compulsive symptoms among CLD patients (p = .014), higher paranoid symptoms in the EPI group (p = .021), and a trend toward higher somatization subscores in the CLD group (p = .054). Symptoms of psychiatric distress including depression are common among tertiary epilepsy center patients as well as patients with CLD).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-14
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Epilepsy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Behavior.
  • Depression
  • Epilepsy
  • Psychopathology
  • Seizures


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